tv Good Morning America ABC June 14, 2017 7:00am-9:01am PDT
rifle shots and gunshots and a lot of hollering. [ talking over one another ] >> most people at home don't recognize you guys don't -- >> if you're joining us on the west coast this is our continuing coverage of a shooting that occurred outside of washington, d.c. shortly after 7:00 a.m. morning. this is the scene in alexandria, virginia right now. a lone shooter approaching delray park in virginia. a little over three hours ago alt the congressional baseball practice. republicans practicing for their baseball game. opened fire. shooting congressman steve scalise, the third ranking republican member of the house of representatives. he was injured in the hip. we believe they're not life-threatening. four others injured including the gunman who is now in custody according to officials. police say it is a stable situation now. the gunman in custody. security has been stepped up at the capitol and the white house. it was a chaotic scene. the gunman fired at least 50
rounds before he was taken down by capitol police. the security detail for congressman scalise. we are on the scene right now. >> reporter: as you can see behind me there is still a very heavy police presence here. we have seen some of the fire vehicles leave and others but if you look down behind me here and see where these police cars, to the left is the park and you have seen some of the video closer up. as you can tell police have moved us several blocks away. the incident under control according to police. five people taken to the hospital that include the shooter. as you mentioned, congressman steve scalise and a staffer or lobbyist and potentially one or two of the security detail that were with the congressmen and returned fire. i was able to talk just a few minutes ago to owen britain who was in the ymca right next to the park. he was walking out about 7:05 and somebody said shots are being fired.
he went outside and looked outside and actually saw the man. here's part of what -- do we have the sound? here's what he told me moments ago of what it was like here at 7:00 this morning. okay. apparently we don't have the sound bite. what he explained was he saw the man with the gun. he described it as a kalashnikov type rifle. it was in the hand of the gunman who was finally taken down by the two congressional security officers capitol police and then the man was taken down apparently in custody and in surgery as well. we expect to hear from police in about another half hour george with additional details. he says this is a closed incident. the investigation continues. but as you can see, blocks are still cordoned off and about 45 minutes ago we had police helicopters overhead. it has calmed down now as they
continue to learn about who this man was and why he was here. >> i want to go to pierre thomas for more on this as well. every indication right now a lone gunman. no connection as far as we know to terrorism? >> reporter: that's right george. early in the investigation they're trying to get additional information on the shooter. we have a name but we're not going to report it just yet until we get confirmation to know precisely who we're dealing with. our law enforcement sources are telling us the fbi will assist the local police and trying to get additional background on this shooter. also, we're being told that atf has been brought in to do an urgent trace on the rifle to figure out where this gun was purchased. assault style rifle we're being told. our sources are emphasizing that had it not been for the security detail that was with congressman scalise, that these people would have been basically sitting
ducks and authorities are unpacking clearly the security implication of that that you would have had a lot of congressmen out there in the open unprotected george. >> just a terrifying situation right there. cecelia vega at the white house has been on top of this all morning. >> reporter: the white house is monitoring this situation closely. an indication of that to show you how seriously they are treat this event. we got word that the president is cancelling -- has cancelled a speech he was going to give later this afternoon at the labor department. he was going to leave the grounds of the white house and head over there. no longer happening. this comes on the heels of the vice president cancelling an event he was having this morning where he was to talk about home building. that was cancelled. instead the vice president came here to the white house. we are told they are both monitoring this situation at that event where the vice president was supposed to be there. there was a moment of silence before it got under way. the word that we have heard
directly from president trump so far comes in the form of a tweet. i will read it to you. he said, quote, representative steve scalise of louisiana, a true friend and patriot was badly injured but will fully recover, our thoughts and prayers are with him. that is being echoed by the president, the first lady and vice president as well. the first lady thanked the first responders. there has been increased security at the capitol this morning. initially early on right after the incident started, began, there was a street closure, the primary street in front of the white house was shut down. that has opened up since. it appears to me that there are tours that have been -- have started back up here at the white house. in that sense, business as usual. but in no way, in no way is this business as usual in washington today for this white house or anybody on capitol hill george. >> especially not on capitol hill. mary bruce is there in position now as well and mary, so far the
early business in congress cancelled for the day? >> reporter: all house votes cancelled. several hearings postponed and uptick in security around the capitol building. out front on the east front they have been clearing out tourists. that happened in the last half hour, pushing everyone back, clearing the area while the capitol building is technically open out of an abundance of caution. they are tightening up security everywhere in this area and reminder, this is already a very security building, police presence here, security presence, always fairly high and even higher today in light of this and seeing a tremendous outpouring of support from lawmakers, both sides of the aisle. for those brave capitol police there on the scene. that was steve scalise's personal detail. we can now confirm we have learned that all house members have been summoned to meet here for a briefing at 11:15 east coast time in the capitol
visitor center auditorium. they will be receiving a briefing on the shooting this morning. >> this has shocked the entire community. we can hear it in the voices of the members of congress on that field today. as they have told us how to handle security in their districts where we have seen such high emotion over the course of this year. they know they're safe generally inside the capitol when there's so much security but generally when they're out in washington, they're relatively -- they live normal lives. this was a real shock. >> and it's a good point. outside of these halls many rank and file members don't travel with security. they live here. they were out at baseball practice this morning. they are deeply involved in the neighborhoods as in other residents an many move without any kind of personal security. leadership is a different matter and that is why we saw the capitol police this morning because of steve scalise as a republican, the third top
ranking republican in the house and thags why he had the capitol police there with him this morning. >> we were with brad garrett, former fbi special agent. we have heard from several eyewitnesses on the scene today piecing together a picture of what happened. white male about 40 years old, maybe early 50s, dark hair, wearing a blue shirt, carrying a rifle, handgun, opens fire. one other report describing a person who certainly sounded like the gunman or similar description to the gunman who had come up to these members of congress earlier in the morning. those democrats or republicans playing out there. >> george, what you have is a guy that clearly was wanting to target the gop. probably not individuals but globally the gop. one of the more interesting things about this shooting is he had free reign at least for a minute to two minutes with a sem semiautomatic weapon and didn't
kill anybody. the suggestion in my mind may be that he really wasn't going there to kill people. granted, he has a semiautomatic rifle but he's shooting apparently to draw attention to himself in particular. think about how this ends. apparently he walks out into the field in least proximity of two wounded capitol police officers, i'm going to guess, trying to do suicide by cop. that didn't work. they shot him. he went down. they have him in custody. there's a lot of pieces to the shooting. >> that's why i want you to stop there as well. it seemed like at the end you were making the point earlier on he didn't seem to be a very good shot and we know that scalise was hit in the hip, another staffer or someone on the scene in the leg. do you think he might have been shooting low on purpose? >> i think he wasn't shooting in any direction. i suspect a lot of the rounds are going to be into the ground and proximity above the people that could have been a target. we're talking about somebody that grabs a weapon and starts
spraying. if this would have been anis lammic extremist or trained precision shooting in the military or law enforcement, we would have a lot of deceased people that we unfortunately would be talking about. that didn't occur. that tells me a lot about the shooter. he's not a precision shooter. maybe he doesn't even have that much familiarity with the particular weapon he was using. but he clearly was going there to make some sort of statement against the gop. >> brad, thanks very much. we have go back to senator jeff flake of arizona who was practicing on the field that day. here's what he had to say. >> got a belt and put it around the wound and tried to keep it. joe barton's boy, 10-year-old boy was here and i think he's 10 and got him in the dugout and put him under the bench. i got a look at the shooter behind the back-stop there. a man with a blue shirt.
he could have fired into the dugout while we were there. so we had to all get down again. then somebody finally after about ten minutes yelled shooter is down. so i sprinted out to steve and put pressure on the wound. he was shot in the left hip. >> so the shooter was shot. did you get a look at him? >> no. the shooter, there was a lot of yelling going on. i could not tell what was -- if anything was the shooter in terms of the yelling. >> the shooter was shot? >> he was. i believe he's still living. >> how many members were shot? >> one member shot. >> okay. >> we saw him leave on a stretcher. >> roger williams? >> roger was not shot. a lot of people had some injuries diving into dugouts. a lot of people scraped up. >> so the 50 shots -- >> i don't believe there are any deceased at this point. one person works for tyson food
comes out here and helps. he was shot in the chest. he is probably the most critical at this point. two of the security, two of scalise's security detail were shot. >> is your sense this shooter knew you guys were out here and targeted you guys purposely? >> you would assume so. but it's not clear whether steve scalise, the member that was shot was targeted or not. we don't know at this point. he was certainly in a bad place. >> he was playing second base? >> yes. >> how many players? >> number. oh yeah. members here, oh, shoot, probably 25. >> senator, for those just joining us, can you start us from the beginning of exactly what happened from when you were playing and first realized there was a problem? >> well, a number of us, i just batted and then just fielded some balls in center field and came in and was standing near joe barton, watching some of the
batting practice. all of a sudden we heard a shot, a very loud shot that everybody thought it sounded like a gun and then boom, rapid succession after that. he had a rifle of some type. it was obviously a large gauge rifle. there were people in the field. one staffer was shot out in the field and he ran with the wound to the dugout. a lot of us dove into the dugout and tried to get as many as we could. at that point there was firing behind us from the security detail. the capitol police. i started yelling back are you friendly. are you friendly. making sure that was our guy. because we didn't know if there were other shooters that had us surrounded and would come into the dugout. we didn't know whether to run or not. but as soon as we found out we had a friendly behind us, then we stayed. and tried to keep down. i poked my head up and saw the shooter behind the back-stop
behind the fence but he still had a line of shot, a line of fire into the dugout. >> firing through the fence? >> firing around but still could have fired into the dugout. that's why i kept everybody down. joe barton's boy was here, 10-year-old and we got him into the dugout and stuffed him under the bench. >> senator jeff flake describing the scene in alexandria when a gunman opened fire on a congressional baseball practice. the republican team practicing this morning. five people injured. one of them congressman steve scalise. the number three ranking member of the house injured as well. injury not believed to be life-threatening. shot in the hip. it was his security detail able to take down the shooter. want to go to david kerley on the scene in alexandria with more from the scene. >> reporter: george, as you told us earlier the two senators who were including senator flake who
we heard from could see this shooter or knew the shooter was coming and shooting from the dugout on the third base side. there were others who could see that as well and the park which is down here to the left of where these police cars are, there is a ymca right next door and owen britain who is a defense contractor and lives in this neighborhood and was in for his morning workout at 7:05, he's walking out and somebody says there is a shooter out there and he explained what he saw and how he felt when he saw that shooter. >> i was leaving. it was maybe five after, ten after 7:00. i was on my way out and as i got to the door someone told me not to go outside, there was a man with the gun. i looked out and there was a man with a gun crouched behind a wooden structure and carrying a kalashnikov assault rifle and
exchanging fire with police officers, what i know now are police officers crouched behind the black suv. >> you walk out. do you have an indication there may be a shooter? you see a gun battle. what are you thinking? >> get away from the windows is what i was thinking. that's what i told everyone who was in the lobby area of the gym. tried to get them to not stand next to the windows, not stand next to the front doors. that turned out to be a good idea. a few moments later two bullets hit the front of the gym. one came through a set of windows and the other lodged in the windows. >> so this touched where you were? >> yeah. it was rather personal. >> what do you make of this? members of congress, you learned what happened there at the scene. as an american who has been touched by this, what do you make of it? >> well, i think it speaks a deep message about the depth of the division in our nation right now between the political
extremes. obviously we don't know the person or what their motivations were, apparently they were asking who was playing on the field. got an answer and then launched into action. you got to assume a political motivation and it's deeply troubling. we should all come together as a nation. >> reporter: were you scared? >> you know, at the time no. not particularly. i entered a pragmatic frame of mind. i suppose that's a manifestation of fear of sorts. i wouldn't describe myself as being afraid at the time. >> and now you're getting ready to walk away. what are your thoughts? >> now i'm afraid. it's unsettling to have violence touch so close to one's daily routine. this is something i do every other day. so it's concerning. >> you know, it's something i've heard from a couple of witnesses here. they're really disturbed by the fact of a shooting like this
highlighting what they say are the divisions within the country. as you mention, there's been one report of one member of congress saying the shooter asked for these republicans or democrats and had witnesses tell me here that they see this as a symptom of what's happening in our country and they're very saddened by it. >> sad and shocked. we're hearing in the voices this morning. thanks. want to go back to pierre thomas. you said earlier that you had a name not confirmed yet. and we know atf doing everything they can to trace down that rifle. >> you have a massive crime scene and the key thing is once you get the witnesses and the victims to safety you begin to unpack what you can find out about the shooter. the weapon is a source of information potentially. atf is doing an urgent search on the firearm described as an assault style rifle. the fbi now with a name we believe will begin to unpack
this man's background and find out who he has been talking to, what he's been viewing online. that will be critical in the investigation because finding out the motive is critical because you want to understand if there's some kind of threat beyond this lone shooter. right now again authorities say there appears to be no nexus to terrorism. to following determinations have been made and they want to make sure there's not support for this person who did the shooting george. >> we're expecting to hear from virginia governor at around 10:30. you're going to continue your reporting. we want to go to another eyewitness on the scene who lives nearby. >> noah nathan who lives nearby and you were at the dog park when this unfolded. it's just behind this fence. we're talking it's 15 yards behind the ball field. very close, right? tell me what it is you first saw and what unfolded from there. >> i was walking in and the --
they practice here all the time. it's normal to see that. i was going in the dog park and heard a shot but thought it was fireworks. i went into the first gate and then i heard the second shot and realized it wasn't fireworks and people started to scurry around. i laid flat on the ground. i had to hold on to the dogs and then after a couple shots came by i could hear them hit the fence, skip across the gravel. >> you heard the shots hit near you? >> yeah. and i was laying flat on the ground and i tried to wiggle over there to get some protection. there was nothing i could do. pretty much helpless and so i got my phone out and at least let me record it and maybe there'll be some information that could be used and i got five and a half minutes of video. i didn't see the shooter but i saw police shooting back at the shooter and the police have my phone so hopefully they can get something off of it. >> you also said you had a view
of the ball field at that point and looking in there and you can see what we assume may have been congressman scalise lying down. and the reaction. what happened with him immediately after? >> he was laying on the field and then his buddies were saying don't move. it was almost like out of a movie, like a sniper scene, don't move or he's going to shoot you again. they were saying don't move. as soon as the firing stopped i'm guessing the whole thing was eight, nine minutes. after that stopped, his buddies tried to make sure he was okay. i don't remember how long it took until the ambulance got here and they medevaced him out. >> the moments that you realized this is not fireworks, this isn't something else, this is definitively a shooting and i'm in danger you said you also saw them trying to get away from the baseball field, tell me what the people were doing on the field. >> they were running, jumping over the fence, and trying to get behind the building.
at first i don't think we realized where the shooter was coming from. you didn't want to run where he was shooting. they realized he was from -- i don't know if it was the snack bar or dugout. they jumped over the fence and some jumped into the dog park. i was trying to get as flat as i could. it was nice because you could see the capitol police shooting back and then after all the gunfire stopped it was safe to get up and saw them running out to the congressman. >> talk about the capitol police because as you have stated you see the ball players here, the members and their staff playing, practicing all the time here. and you know that there is some level of security by capitol police for the members but it's not -- it's pretty subtle, not overt. so you're not seeing a bunch of officers in if uniform standing around yet you said they were really quick to react. >> usually like one or two
suv's, in their suits, you know they're not playing ball. but they were really quick. they were able to contain it. you know, there's kids here. some of them brought kids or grandkids because they're out of school. >> there was a pregnant woman in the park. >> yeah. she was due in a month. luckily no issues happened there. >> now that you have had a few moments to digest this, give me your thoughts. look, this is -- it could have been a little league game, it could have been anything. it's terrible regardless of who was a target and why and the fact people were shot. but now that you've been able to understand some of the reporting and these were members of congress and their staff out here and someone intentionally came out with a rifle and trying to shoot and kill them, give me your reaction. >> pissed off. there's mental issues. you know, it's a safe neighborhood, family friendly. presuming he came out because he knew the congressmen played baseball here.
>> does everyone know this is where congress plays? >> you don't have people come to watch it. but people realize that's the congressmen because they're usually here from like 6:15 to 7:30. they're not here all day. if you're not up early you're not going to notice them. >> talk about the heroism of the police officers who were quick to react. >> it was great. they wouldn't have been here, we would have been sitting ducks. >> an eyewitness on the scene. i'm here with brian ross as well. the real search now motive. >> absolutely. no determination of motive. and no threat. there was no known threat at this point. they weren't looking for anything in particular and don't have a motivation and still searching hard and long for that. we do back to the shooting six years ago of gabby giffords where seven people were killed by a 25-year-old man who was on social media complaining about
congress spending money. they look for the motive here. as we have heard they were targeting a group of people, not one particular congressman. >> i'm also here with dr. jen ashton. we heard quick action by the capitol police and also know there was quick action by congressman scalise's colleagues including a former medic who was able to put a tourniquet on congressman scalise. he's in surgery expected to survive. >> we're not sure if it was applied to the congressman or to the person who suffer add gunshot wound to the leg. some historical perspective here, in the '80s and '9 0s, the use of tourniquets had fallen out of favor. this was something that evolved into more common practice and came from the battlefield, in this case, to the baseball field and there is now a big push by the american college of surgeons that was rolled out as recently as last year to educate the lay
public and first responders in the appropriate and safe use of a tourniquet because it's really knowthatn ms casualties like this unfortunately which we're seeing more and more the preventable deaths occur because of hemorrhage. if people in the field can apply a tourniquet they can save lives until the first responders get there. we saw this used in the boston marathon bombing. it was credited for saving many lives there and we saw it after the newtown shooting in sandy hook. it's a major campaign amongst trauma surgeons with excessive bleeding in the field to apply direct compression, anyone can do that, special types of dressings that can help the blood to clot and the use of tourniquets in extremity injuries and we're hearing more and more about it. it's a big medical headline here. could definitely save lives. >> the congressman is going to be okay. the others who were wounded
right now. the suspect is also in custody. apparently is not life-threatening injuries either. let's go to our former fbi special agent. we know authorities are going to be getting all the information they can from the shooter. >> absolutely george. they probably already have if he's talking a picture. these guys tend to talk. because this shooting is the most important thing they have probably done in their life. they want the attention. he's probably venting about why he did this. he may even be telling them where the weapon came from, et cetera. i would say in very short order, at least law enforcement will know what they have. >> and general you were describing the situation where something could have sparked this in the last 24 hours. almost like a snap situation. that would suggest not something that required a lot of planning? >> no. but how much planning do you need george? you drive to a baseball field, determine it's gop folks, that's
who you're angry at and you open fire. i mean, it's like car rammings, people jumping out with knives. these don't take any planning. you just have to have a group of people. in this case he needed a group of gop people and they were the target. just that simple. again, i hate to keep repeating this. but these situations are almost completely impossible to defense against unless you know about them. >> and the only defense was the fact that congressman scalise was a member of the leadership and had a security detail. thanks. i want to go to cecelia vega at the white house. this occurred before the start of the workday in washington. once everyone has learned of the shooting including there at the white house everything else has stopped. >> reporter: everything stopped here george. the vice president had an event that was cancelled. he was supposed to be speaking to home builders away from the white house. that was cancelled. instead the vice president raced
over here to the white house where the president is. the president had an event that was supposed to take place later this afternoon. he also was going to leave the white house for that. that has since been cancelled. the president has been tweeting about this along with the vice president and the first lady thanking the first responders, extending their prayers, especially representative scalise. security we saw what appeared to be a beefed up presence. the security around the white house is now open again. this has brought a busy few weeks for this president to a complete stand-still and waiting to find out, we have not heard whether the president will address this directly on camera today or not. we're waiting on that. >> president trump relatively new to washington but did have a relationship with congressman
scalise. >> reporter: he did. he calls him a friend, a loyal patriot and a number of congressional member from the gop were here yesterday in the white house meeting about health care. we don't know at this point any of those were actually at that ballpark there this morning. let's not forget his relationship with rand paul who was also there, a very contentious one going back to the campaign. this is a president who has a touch and go relationship with members of his own party on capitol hill certainly but coming from this white house right now absolutely nothing but concern for what's happening out there george. >> there's virginia governor terry mccall about to start a press conference on the scene in alexandria. let's listen in.
>> good morning everybody. i'm mike brown, chief of the alexandria police department. b-r-o-w-n. >> can you come to the microphone please? thank you. >> we're here today to give you an update on the incident that occurred this morning here in alexandria. let me repeat if i can some of the facts that we do know at this point. before i start though, i want to say that this incident is not active. the city is safe. we have an active investigation going on for the incident that took place this morning but i want to reassure the community here in alexandria that this city is indeed safe. we will continue to work with the investigation as it moves forward. the facts as we have it this morning again at 07:09. we received a 911 of an active shooter at simpson park here in
alexandria. our units were on scene within three minutes. the officers received fire from a suspect and returned fire. and that part of the investigation is ongoing as we speak. we came to find out at this event was a practice session for a baseball team involving representatives from congress or some employees from congress. there were capitol police individuals on scene. and they also engaged with the subject and let the capitol police respond to that. the emergency medical personnel that responded to the scene from the alexandria fire department as well as officers from the alexandria police department provided treatment to a number of individuals on scene. those individuals we know that five of them were transported by public emergency medical sources to hospitals within the area. to deal with a variety of injuries.
and treatment. at this point, the alexandria police department because this case involves the assault on a federal officer, the federal bureau of investigation will be taking over the investigation and we welcome our work with the fbi and are imbedded in assisting the fbi along with other agencies that are trying to deal with this particular scene and this investigation of this incident. that said, i would also like to say our gratitude to the allied agencies that responded to the scene. we had individuals from the alexandria sheriff's department, the alexandria fire department who helped us a great deal in trying to manage this thing and i couldn't be more proud of the men and women involve from the alexandria police department. >> pierre, which -- [ inaudible ] >> i introduce the chief from the capitol police to talk a little bit about their reference
in this area and what they're doing. chief. >> thank you, chief. i would like to of course start out by thanking the alexandria police, sheriff's office, fire department. the fbi, atf and all of our federal law enforcement local partners who assisted in this response. certainly it's a very large response and going to take a while to sort through all of the details. my units of our protection division were on site with congressional protectee. when the incident occurred they engaged in gunfire with the suspect and were assisted by the alexandria police. the officers, the united states capitol police officers who were injured are in good condition and have not suffered any life-threatening injuries at this point. as we get more information we'll
be working through the fbi and our local partners with the alexandria police to provide more details as they become available but at this point i would like to turn it over to the fbi. >> good morning. tim slater. i'm the special agent in charge of the washington field office and i just want to reiterate what the chief said. this is a secure community at this point. it's an active investigation. however, the security of the community is paramount and i want to reassure you that's the case. we got involved around 9:30 this morning and initially responded with our national capitol response squad from the jttf per our protocol and they were assisting our state and local partners. once it was confirmed that we had members of congress involved we had taken the lead. however, this is a joint command
and this is a joint investigation with our state and local partners to include who has been at the microphone already and our partners from atf, alexandria county and the city and capitol police as well. i will take a couple questions in just a second but want to turn it over to the governor for a couple comments. >> thank you. first of all, thoughts and prayers of everybody affected by today's incident. i want to congratulate the effort of the state, local and federal. we're all here together. early this morning state police were activated. i want to thank everybody's involvement and all the first responders. i have been told that members of the community came out to be of assistance. i also want to compliment the u.s. capitol police for their quick action and through their heroic efforts and others, they saved a lot of lives today. we do everything we can to keep
our community safe and i want to thank all the law enforcement personnel and first responders involved today. thank you. >> at this point, what you see, number one, deliberate planned attack and are you investigating this now on the basis it could be an act of terrorist by an individual? >> ma'am, it's too early to say. really raw at this moment. we're at the initial part of the investigation. it's too early to say. we're working both ways right now. >> so is one of the angles you're investigating that it could be an act of terrorism? >> we're exploring all angles. >> do you have any information -- it is said there may be a tentative id. even if you can't say specifics are you beginning to narrow down on the identity of the shooter? >> yes, we are. >> was this an assassination attempt? >> no, it's not.
>> do we know who he is? >> we're still working on it. [ talking over one another ] >> is he american? former military? >> will not confirm that, no, sir. >> certain members of congress were being targeted though, was this intentional -- >> too early to tell. >> what can you tell us about if anyone suffered life-threatening injuries? >> don't know. everyone is receiving medical treatment. don't know about the life-threatening or not. >> the shooter asked are these republicans or democrats. can you say whether you think there is a political motivation? >> no. not aware of that at all. no information on the weapons. don't know yet. >> sir, you're saying this could have been random? >> don't know. it's really early in the investigation. >> how do you know that? >> i don't know any of those facts. it's too early to say one way or the other. >> can you give us the condition of the suspect? do you know his condition and the general condition of the officers shot? >> i think the officers are
doing better. not sure of the suspect. >> is the suspect talking with law enforcement? >> say again. >> any information on -- [ inaudible ] >> no, ma'am. not at this point. >> capitol police officers, the security detail was there with congressman scalise in this incident. can you give us the sense of the importance of the fact that there were officers on the scene. >> members of a dignitary protection yes, they were here as a protection team. >> and the difference it made? >> i'm sure it made a significant difference. >> sir is that suspect talking to you? is he cooperating? explaining? >> do not know the answer to that. >> is the security detail were they -- capitol police -- >> is there anywhere else this investigation is taking place? >> we have secured the scene and getting it through the logical investigative steps at this point. >> you said you don't think this is an assassination attempt and yet it would appear members of congress were targeted? >> no i did not say that. we're not sure at this moment. it's early on in this investigation and working through it. >> is he local or from
elsewhere? >> don't know. >> even if he's from the region? >> no, ma'am. [ inaudible ] >> say again. >> do you know if the suspect approached lawmakers and asked whether or not they were republican or democratic? >> i'm not aware of that, no, ma'am. >> you said earlier it wasn't an assassination attempt. can you clarify -- >> if i said that i misspoke. it's too early in the investigation to say one way or the other. >> can you confirm there's some reports that he had white hair or dark hair. >> no. i'm not aware. >> given the fact -- obviously how much you don't know at this point and investigating, how can you and the chief and the government say that if you don't know that the community is safe and this area is safe? how can you rule out there was not a broader situation? >> from early on in the investigation where we are right now we think we have a really good handing on it.
just want to run out a couple details before we confirm additional stuff. fair enough? >> whether there was more than one? >> i cannot. no, ma'am. >> can we ask the capitol hill police chief -- >> weapons? >> i do not know weapons. >> can we get an update on your officers who engaged the suspect? we understand they were wounded in the line of duty. how are they doing? >> certainly, yes. they are being treated at a local hospital and the injuries do not appear to be life-threatening at this point. >> did you see their condition? >> i would categorize it that they're in good condition. >> can you describe what they did, how they engaged the suspect? >> we received reports of gunfire through our communications. and then we coordinated with the alexandria police. obviously, from early instance of this incident, it was -- shots were fired. >> engaged the suspect? >> that's my understanding.
[ talking over one another ] >> where were your officers at, in the field or -- >> this is too preliminary to go into the details of the investigation. suff suffice it to say officers acted heroic today and look for a rapid recovery. with that said, i'll turn it back over to -- >> one male and one female? >> i'm not going to comment on the names, numbers until i'm reasonably sure that next of kin are notified. >> what about the investigation tells you about the motivation and whether it was political? >> we're not going to go into that. much too preliminary. >> any indication who he shot, what he was doing? >> again, it's too early on. when the facts come to light we'll share what we can share. thank you. >> thank you. >> one quick question. is the fifth person the victim or the shooter? >> we're not going to comment on that.
like the chief said, it's significantly early and so -- >> are there four or five victims? >> how injured was the shooter? >> i'm not going to confirm that. >> but you can confirm there were five people injured? >> i'm not going to confirm that either. there were five people transported by public emergency medical personnel to hospitals. >> was the suspect one of them? >> i'm not going to comment. it's an ongoing investigation issue. let me comment to the question about the safe community piece. we have several things going on. the police department after we secured the scene here did an awful a lot of work in the community, we walked the community, worked for secondary issues, we brought in additional resources so we could deal with any possible secondary thing. the question that was directed about the investigation, if in fact it reveals something else, we will respond to that but right now every indication in this city is that this is an isolated incident but the
investigation will be long term and let me do a thank you to the agencies that assisted us and as we canvassed the neighborhoods and looked around the community to make sure it was safe and that would include the virginia state police, alexandria sheriff's office and a lot of folks in the neighborhood came out. >> were there any other minor injuries? >> there were five people transported by -- i won't go into that. >> being reported if we don't -- >> i can't speak to the information that others are reporting folks. five people were transferred. >> was anybody treated on scene? >> i can't speak to that. i'll refer to the fbi on that information. >> governor, governor -- >> the fbi special agent in charge. not much they can say about the suspect. they confirmed five people were transported to hospitals. we know that according to the chief of the capitol hill police, his two officers are in good condition according to the police chief and congressman
steve scalise is in surgery right now but stable condition. his injuries not expected to be life-threatening. we heard from roger williams who verified and confirmed that zack barth was also shot this morning at the baseball practice and we believe the shooter has been injured as well. we have on the phone right now congressman peter welch who is a good friend of congressman scalise. what can you tell us about congressman scalise? have you heard anything new? congressman welch? okay. apparently we lost the congressman. but we have another congressman on tape. congressman chuck fleischmann from tennessee who spoke with mary bruce. >> how are you doing? oh, my gosh.
>> it is a sad day. my personal thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who were severely injured and wounded and there were several. my injuries are minor. thank god. for the capitol police. they were there to guard steve scalise. but for that fact there would have been much, much more damage. i don't know why i'm very thankful that i was not shot. i was on that side of the field at the conclusion of practice. walking down the third base side, visiting with my good friend trent kelly from mississippi when we were talking about how practice had gonna day and as i went around, i heard a large single pop, one shot. i didn't know it was a gun. so we were standing around. within moments there was a
barrage of shots being fired. we have a lot of voluntary coaches. and we hit the ground immediately and then we realized we were out there. we didn't exactly know where the shots were coming from but it was loud. it was constant. i actually ran and jumped in the dugout. that's when i got -- i'm sorry. that's when i got scuffed you have. we realized the shooter was still active. there was a child in the dugout. children come out and watch us play. the children were secured and went against the wall in the dugout. fortunately the capitol police were able to return fire and the police stopped the shooter from moving forward because we were like sitting ducks in the dugout. >> were you able to get a look at the shooter? >> i was not. i heard it and i did not see him. other members actually did see him moving around and took
cover. >> several multiple shots and seemed like it went on for quite some time. when i got back into the dugout with the members, i realized one gentleman had been shot in the leg and was bleeding and could see the bullet hole in his leg. other members were like me, just trying to get there. they just jumped into the dugout. it seemed like it went on for a long period of time. fortunately there was return fire from the capitol police to keep the shooter at bay. calls went out for help. virginia police came as backup and it's my understanding they subdued the shooter. [ inaudible ] >> i don't know. i don't know. >> and the capitol police present, were those scalise's personal detail? >> yes. and that is very normal. our speaker, majority leader and the whip get 24-hour capitol police coverage as do i believe the majority leader and their
side. that is something that's been in place for quite some time. this is my seventh year playing on the congressional baseball team and they are there every day with scalise. today it was so important that they were there and two were injured. my thoughts and prayers and thanks, my sincere thanks go out to them. a lot more members would have been more seriously hurt if they had not been there to return fire. >> do you think security needs to change for members? >> thank you. god bless you. >> for rank and file members -- [ inaudible ] >> well, this is what i said earlier and i'm still in shock about this. because i've never actually been fired upon. i served with some men and women who have been in combat before and i talked with them after the event and said what was that like.
let me say this. >> could you speak to the cameras as well? >> sure. >> please. >> thank you, sir. >> baseball is a part of america. it's been a dear part of our country, our country's history. the congressional baseball game has gone on for over 100 years. this is where republicans and democrats come together, raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. we practice for a couple months leading up to the game. this should be a happy and safe time and a very happy and safe place for americans on a ball field. >> practicing for several days in a row. >> that's correct. >> did you notice anyone? >> never. >> suspicious? >> we have never had an incident like this and in seven years and there are some members who played 21 years who have never experienced anything like this. citizens come up often and watch us. they're very cordial. it's been overwhelmingly nice. this is a horrible aberration
and it makes us fear for our security. >> congressman, did you hear any of your colleagues were able to -- we understand the congressman jumped in and directed, is it clear that it was someone intending on doing harm, know his motivation? >> i know nothing of his motivations. i have talked with a lot of members who are like me, shook up. they kept us there and put up yellow tape around the area and kept us there until they could interview us. everybody who was there was interviewed, law enforcement, i think both federal and virginia. but just a horrible, horrible experience. actually now thinking the magnitude of the shots fired, i'm still in a state of shock. >> would you reconsider the kind of security you have or getting additional security? >> i have always felt safe in the district. i represent wonderful people in
east tennessee. i go to festivals. we have a festival called river bend. there's 60,000, 70,000 people a night. i always wanted to be out with the people. that's where i feel the best. actually seeing the common men and women in this country that want to make this country great every day. i'm not going to change that. if someone wants to take an act of violence against me, i hope and pray they never do, but we cannot let the bad guys win. we have to come together as americans and get this right. >> congressman chuck fleischmann from tennessee. still in the practice uniform from this morning's practice. 21 people were there when an individual opened fire. itch wa i want to go to mary bruce. we're starting to hear from other members of congress
including the senate republican leader. >> reporter: george, so much of the conversation up here in the halls of the capitol this morning besides just shock and grief is this question of security. what should happen next? you heard congressman fleischmann talk about that. whether they need to consider increasing their security when they're in large groups but this overwhelming sense that congressmen and congress wwomen enjoy going out in public. if it were not for the security that leader scalise had, this would be a very different conversation we were having here today. so the conversation going forward is about how to strike that middle ground. you saw the congressman here getting emotional, speaking choking back tears about how he feels it's important to have that relationship with the american people, to speak with his constituents without feeling
that he's being somehow shielded by a lot of security. but that's the real conversation here going forward at least but a lot hof shocked members and members coming back up still in their baseball uniforms trying to really understand what they have just gone through george. >> mary, thanks. i want to go to pierre thomas. we now can identify the shooter? >> yes george. we're told he's been identified as a james t. hodge kinson. again 66 years old. as far as we know. they're investigating some posts he may have made on facebook which he suggested he may have been anti-trump. that is being investigated and looking for additional details that would explain why gop officials may have been targeted george. >> 66 years old from illinois. brian ross, our chief investigative correspondent as well. does re-enforce the idea this
was a specific target. >> on the social media pages he talked about his concerns of republicans and the health care bill as well as statements in which he strongly sort of opposed donald trump and all the republicans in washington. >> brian ross. we talk with peter welch. close friend of congressman scalise. i think you're on the phone with us right now. can you tell us anything more about the congressman's condition? >> well, i don't know. just what i'm reading. but steve is a great guy. he and i were junior members of the energy and commerce committee and he was the last on the republican side and i was the last on the democratic side. we sat next to each other and he's a guy who loves his family. got a wife and two kids. loves the lsu tigers. he loves cajun cooking and he loves doing his job. you know, he just relates to people every day in his district. and he's a happy worrier here. he and i don't agree literally on anything.
but he wants to help. and in vermont when we had tropical storm irene which was the most devastating natural event since 1937 steve was on the phone calling me what can i do to help and he made a huge difference in getting the emergency relief needed. he's been a good friend and it's hard not to like steve scalise. >> we have heard a lot about that this morning and congressman we're getting word just now about the shooter, the identification of the shooter. james t. hodgekinson who was targeting republicans. clearly had a lot of anger. >> pretty horrifying. they're out there playing baseball. steve is a member of congress who is going to weigh in and be around the people he represents. it's the joy in his life. to be connecting and relating to the people that he represents. in the sense of the word representative nobody better than steve. the whole security issue will
have to be reviewed. thank goodness he had his security detail there that was able to respond as quickly as they did along with the alexandria police. you know, bottom line here, this is a tough environment politically and we have got a lot of division in congress and in the country. but the baseball game was where there's been this bipartisan effort to raise money and actually do normal things like play baseball. and steve -- we're all devastated this happening but i think all of us don't want really to change the way we relate to the folks that we represent. we just want to be every day people with them. the security folks are going to have to decide what changes if any need to be made. but already at the capitol when i walked across the capitol today, no people were allowed in the courtyard in front of the capitol. there was heavy police presence
with automatic weapons. so it's already had a real impact today on what's going on around here. >> are you getting any other information from the releadersh on what kind of changes might be coming? >> we're getting a bipartisan briefing on the shooting and there'll be some discussion about security but i think what you heard from congressman fleischmann is really the attitude that most and thank goodness there were lots of shots fired there, and injuries that everyone looks like is going to recover. but violence has just -- had an enormous consequential impact on the state of politics. and the members of congress who are going to continue by and large, who go about our business, but i think it's a real scary thing for folks in their own communities when there
is really a terrorist action whatever the motivation, when they are playing baseball or their kids are playing baseball, so it really has a challenging impact on the way we live our lives, but fleischmann got it right. let's not give into folks who commit these violent acts. >> thanks very much. i know you have to get to the briefing. thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. brian ross here, the chief investigative correspondent. we are learning more about the shooter. >> reporter: exactly. from his facebook and social media postings, he appears to have been a supporter of bernie sanders last year during the election, and he calls president trump a traitor and raises questions about the republicans. he signed the petition against the republicans handling the health care bill, so he seems to have some political activity in his background. he is 66 years old. in this town outside st. louis. he ran a home inspection business which lost his license
last year, and that's when we know at this point. >> thank you. coming up at 11:00 in the east, we are continuing the coverage. shortly after 7:00 a.m. this morning, alexandria, virginia, gunman now identified as james t. hodgkinson, 66. he opened up gunfire on the republican congressmen. he is in custody right now. we know that congressman steve scalise, the third ranking member of the house, and zack barth was also injured. he is going to be okay. two other capitol police, according to the chief of the capitol police are also in good condition right now. it was their fire that brought down the gunman, and according to many witnesses today, likely saved many, many lives, and quick thinking, and quick action by the capitol hill security
police which brought down the gunman, james t. hodgkinson shortly after 7:00 a.m. this has shocked the entire capitol, including the white house. our cecilia vega is there. >> reporter: and we're just getting word that president trump will make a statement and address this shooting in a little under a half hour's time now here in the diplomatic room at the white house. 144 days into his presidency, and this is the first time president trump has had to address a large-scale shooting like this on camera here. something president obama was no stranger to. he had to address mass shootings here at the white house 18 times over the course of his presidency. we are hearing a little bit more about how the president has been spending his morning since this shooting happened. we are told that he has been on the phone all morning, actually. including with the speaker of the house, the senate majority
leader. president trump spoke with the wife of representative steve scalise and the chief of the capitol police. we're also just finding out from the white house that the vice president among the people who were at that -- at that baseball practice this morning was a member of the vice president's staff who is the coach of that gop -- of the gop team. the vice president also speaking to a number of congressional leaders and representatives. there were 21 members of congress at that baseball game this morning, george. people might be wondering, how is it possible that someone might have known -- a perspective shooter might have known this practice was taking place? we have heard other members of congress tell us, this is a park. this is a park in a neighborhood of a suburb of washington in a very lovely morning here, and there would be a lot of people out and about, but this is also publicized. there have been a number of
articles written about where they practice for this baseball game. this is a high profile game they were practicing for. it's so take place tomorrow at nationals park. 15,000 people have attended those games, including president obama in the past. no word yet whether that game goes forward tomorrow. certainly, all eyes from this white house now on the details as they come in from that scene there. paying very close attention here. >> any reaction at all to the news that came out of the shooter, james t. hodgkinson, who apparently had many anti-trump skreeds? >> no reaction yet. because you said those details are just coming in. i can tell you a little bit about security what we have seen here this morning. shortly of a that incident happened at the baseball park, which is again, just about seven miles away from the white house here. security was increased slightly outside of the white house. pennsylvania avenue was shut down for a short time, but it is now back to normal now, and --
and it seems at least in terms of security here, it is business as usual. no reaction directly from the white house on the suspect. >> we'll hear from the president at 11:30, and we heard from two senate majority leaders. >> majority leader. >> i know the entire senate will join in echoing the sentiments of the president this morning. we're deeply saddened. we're all concerned for those injured. we'll keep them in our prayers and we'll continue to send them every wish for quick and full recovery. we're grateful for all those who stepped in to help. tho those practicing on the field. the first responders and of course, the capitol police officers on the scene. we're deeply indebted to their
service, and they continue to have unfailing bravery on behalf of the capitol community. the congressional baseball game is a bipartisan charity event. i know the senate will embrace that spirit today as we come together and express in both or concern and our gratitude. >> i join with the majority leader in offering our prayers for those who were injured, and i was absolutely shaken by the news of a shooting early this morning at the baseball field in alexandria. where many of my friends and colleagues were practicing for the annual congressional baseball game in an event that brings us together each year. it has been reported that scalise was shot during the attack, as well as two brave members of the police force and a few others. let's pray they are able to recover quickly. this morning is a sobering
reminder of how thankful we should be for the service of the capitol police force who put their lives on the line day in and day out for us to be safe. i could not be more grateful that capitol police were there at a time to prevent this attack from being any worse thanes t i was. i was with senator paul in the gym who had been there. he said that two capitol police officers -- had they not been there, it might have been a massacre because they were there to respond. we thank them. the entire senate family sends its thoughts and prayers to those who were wounded and our gratitude to the police officers and first responders who were at the scene. >> chuck schumer and mitch mcconnell the republican leader of the senate. we're joined by the congressman of pennsylvania who is a pitcher on the team, but you weren't
actually at the practice today. >> no. this morning, i actually had a breakfast that was a conflict, so i was not. i was there yesterday, but a familiarity with the details of the -- that have been reported and knowing the field and frankly, where every player would normally be, gives you a sense of location, which is -- which is, you know, a little unnerving. >> what else have you been able to learn? >> i don't know that i'm learning much more than everybody else because the breaking news was right from the scene, and i think it has been accurately reported. the nature of the practices were on an open field every morning at about 6:15. much like any group of kids would be as, you know, at a basketball park or a team playing and the fact that we're a bunch of older guys out there in the morning usually draws some attention and people say, who are those guys? and passer byes. it's a routine that some people
walk their dog at the dog bark. others attending the ymca adjacent to the field. you're just like everyone else in a public space. >> you liked to practice there. that was a regular thing? >> there is no doubt there was a routine. in fact, it might be something that if somebody was looking for a way to see a group, it's sort of uncommon to have 25 or 30 members of congress collected together and a group of younger staffers that help serving as to posing team and helping with practices. you have a lot of people gathered together and members of congress in just a very public space. >> we have identified the shooter, james t. hodgkinson. authorities are i have aed the shooter. some indication based on a social media profile, they had strong political views and anger against president trump. this was a real targeted attack. your reaction?
>> well, you know, i don't know what motivated him. i'm sure more will come out and maybe he will speak himself about that. obviously, the sort of hard language and even to some extent, vitriol that's taking place is regrettable, and you hope this has been the kind of extension of that, but you really feel for everyday americans who are subjected to, you know, the concern of something that is completely unanticipated in a violent act like this. it unnerves everybody. >> it does. we're showing the first picture we have there of the shooter, james t. hodgkinson. thank you very much for your time this morning. i know you have to go to a briefing on capitol hill. we have also learned so far that the four injured victims who were on the scene, the two capitol police officers, congressman scalise and the staffer for congressman williams are expected by dr. jen ashton to recover. >> absolutely. it bears to the first
responders. even public bystanders. they save lives in cases like this. you point out the medical work that is done in the field. he has oxygen. he has ekg monitors and iv access giving him fluids, and he is stabilized in what was at that time, a precarious, and unknown if it was a revolving and dangerous situation. we have received a statement from the hospital, where the congressman was taken. the quote, prior to entering surgery, the whip was in good spirits. he spoke to his wife by phone. he is grateful for the brave actions by the capitol police. it's about a 912-bed major teaching hospital. it's a level one trauma center. they see 1,100 trauma cases, including medevac cases. >> let's go back to capitol hill. right now, mary bruce.
>> i was waiting far pitch. one came, and i heard a loud noise and i thought it was a construction site dropping a very large piece of metal and then the next thing i heard was, run. he has got a gun. i took off, went into the dugout. dove in on top of some others and dispersed out of there to even safer areas. >> when did you realize? they heard a pop or loud noise, but it didn't register. >> no. it didn't. i thought it was a construction site that dropped a large piece of metal. until somebody said, run, he has got a gun, i was in the batter's box. >> just to introduce you to our skru viewers, we're with congressman davis here. did you see that leader scalise had been injured? >> i saw he was down in the outfield when i left the dugout, and took cover further away from the field. i'm so glad. i just heard the news he has come out of surgery.
what a blessing. but i saw another former staffer down with another gunshot wound as i left the dugout and again, moved further away from the field, but i also saw the bravery. the bravery of the two capitol police officers that engaged the shooter that saved the lives of every single person there with their bravery. they are the true heroes. they are part of steve scalise's details and one of them got shot. maybe both of them did, and i don't know that yet. but without them there, this would have been a massacre of major proportions of innocent men, women and children at a park that is peaceful at 6:30 in the morning when we go out there. >> without leadership's security, this would have been a different situation. does it make you reconsider the kind of security you travel with? maybe the security that should be present when there are lawmakers together? >> as we move forward, i wouldn't have taken that into consideration before, but for the rest of my life, i will.
>> you will change your habits you think? >> it's about being aware and understanding that you never want to be put in that situation again, but let's let this tragedy -- let's let this tragedy bring us together as americans and realize that the political rhetoric and the rhetorical hate speech we see in the news media and we see it on social media, let's come together as americans. we agree as republicans like me, and democrats in washington, on almost every issue we deal with just a few feet away on the house floor. let's report on the agreements and make sure we talk about where america should come together. we can have policy differences. the reason i'm here today is to say our policy differences matter, but we can elect and un-elect our leaders. we don't have to resort to violence and let's come together and make america -- make america learn from this tragedy. >> speaking of coming together, that's in many ways what this baseball game is all about. >> it is.
i play catcher and some of the most fun i have is jawing with my colleagues who are democrats and coming up to bat, and that's allowed me to make great friendships with people of all parties. that's what our four fathers signed this country to be, and this district i serve in to do. it seems the hate over political differences has ratcheted up to where it becomes entertainment value, and that has to stop. and we need to come together for republicans and democrats to make it stop. i was asked if this is america's breaking point on hateful rhetoric. it's my breaking point. im do everything i can to make it stop. >> we showed you the man, the shooter, and you have never seen him before? >> i have never seen him before, and i hear reports he is from my home state. it makes my nauseous. >> would you like him to know today from you, what's your message to him?
>> we are the greatest country in the history of the world. we have freedoms that many on this globe wish they would have, and you took those freedoms and tried to take lives. and you didn't succeed, and there is a warm place in hell for you, too. >> congressman davis, thank you for joining us. really appreciate it. thank you for sharing that. >> george. >> powerful words from the congressman. we're getting words on condition. matt micah, their staffer from washington, d.c. has been shot and we are awaiting word on his condition, and they are saying he has worked for tyson food for more than six years. we want the go back to pierre thomas, our senior justice correspondent, and now that he has been identified, a real digital trail for investigators to follow. >> reporter: absolutely, george.
we're told that the fbi took control of the case because a congressman was injured. we're getting additional information from the source i just talked to about the fact that there were anti-trump social media posts that they are looking at, trying to glean more information about that. full press on his computers that they will soon try to get access to. try to get access to his phone. social media footprint, and everything will be looked at to see what we can find out about the suspect, george. law enforcement officials say he has used this, and they are getting information on when the weapon was purchased and by whom. law enforcement officials taking this increasingly seriously because of the fact that so many congressmen were at that park,
george. think about this. at least 21 members of congress at that park practicing today. but for the security of the leader who was there, all of these people could have been killed, and i think what you heard the congressman that mary bruce was just speaking to talk about, is that they are going to have to reassess when large members of congress are together. large numbers of congress are together when leaders are not present. should they have security, george? that is a big issue going forward. >> it is going to be a big question going forward. thank you, pierre thomas. i'm here with brian ross as well. our chief investigative correspondent. we know that james t. hodgkinson is from illinois, but he had been in alexandria for about two months. >> according to his wife, he was expected to return home this week. he is politically active on social media, and on facebook, two days ago, he was critical of trump. he said, trump and company need to be destroyed because they are
destroying democracy. he seems to have gone out of business last year. >> no kind of critical record? >> some brushes with the law over speeding violations and traffic, but nothing serious as far as we can tell. >> back to cecilia vega at the white house right now. we're expected to hear from the president around 11:30? >> yeah, george. just a few minutes from now, a little over ten minutes, we're expected to hear from him. he will be speaking right here at the white house. the word that we have received so far from the president has come in the form of a tweet where he says that representative scalise will be recovering and extended his prayers -- our thoughts and prayers, you can see right there. are with him. he called the representative a true friend and patriot. the vice president has also tweeted, but as we go through these images, i can't help but think about what the course of this day and this week has been like, and would have been like here at the white house. this is an exceptionally busy
time. this is a white house under target right now for a number of questions as we all know. we all know myriad questions about their involvement with russia that falls on the heels of jeff sessions with capitol hill yesterday and comey's testimony a week earlier, and this incident has brought this city and this white house to a standstill right now. as we await the president to address his first address, 144 days in office, the first time we'll hear this president make an on-camera statement here from the white house directly related to a shooting. this is something president obama was no stranger to. he did 18 times over the course of his presidency. he had to make that address, and that was something that very much pained him on a personal level. we saw him brought to tears addressing some of the shootings, and the white house is monitoring this closely, over the course of the morning even with scalise's wife, and we also
recently learned that a member of the vice president's staff, george, was among those who were at the ballpark today. the coach for that gop baseball team is a member of the vice president's staff. >> we'll talk to a congressman that was there this morning. congressman tom rooney of florida. you left just minutes before the shooting? >> yeah. i got in my car at 7:05. i had to get my kids to school, so i know how much time i had to get home, and i heard a police report at 7:09, and the shots happened. i played first, and scalise p y played second and we were working on double plays so i know he was on the field, and so i mean it was just -- i don't know, you know, blind luck that i, you know, decided to leave early that day to take my kids to school, and, you know, i know where this guy was standing
because, you know, there's a parking lot -- overhead, there's a parking lot along the third baseline, and there is about 50 feet of fence between the bullpen and the batting cage where he could probably walk about 10 feet to walk up to that chain link fence over grass, and it's probably another 10 feet to the third base so, you know, i don't know if he knew who steve was or whatever, but him being on second, would have been directly in front of him. our third baseman was out there, he would have been much closer, but just, you know, i think we're all in shock right now. >> everyone is in -- is in shock right now. there is no question that the suspect has been identified as james t. hodgkinson of illinois. he was targeting republicans, congressman. >> well, i mean, i'm still in my baseball clothes right now, george. i just haven't changed, and my
shirt says republicans on it, and it's, like, one of those, you know, baseball undershirts with the long sleeves that a lot of us wear to practice so we're out there for about six weeks every year before this game, and we have been at that field for about six years. so it's no secret who we are or what we're doing there, and, you know, i don't think that -- i don't think that it would be hard to discern that we were republicans, and, you know, steve's security details there really only one way in and out next to first base. and we have to walk by that detail every time we go in and out of the field so they know who we are, and so, you know, thank god they were there because, you know, there is really no way to get out of there other than if you jump the fence and a lot of us are older and that would have been
difficult. so we were really sitting ducks out there if this guy wanted to do a lot worse if steve's detail wasn't there to stop it when they did. >> thank goodness for that. you're right. congressman rooney. thanks for your time this morning. i want to go back to david kerley who is on the scene there in alexandria. >> reporter: george, the fbi has taken over this investigation. 24 atf agents are on the scene, and according to pierre thomas, and our justice unit, they are tracing two weapons at this point. a long gun and a pistol. so the investigation continues behind us about a block where that block up the road here is still cordoned off and a secure area. i have with me david woodruff, and you were offered a job this morning. you heard the shots and what did you think and what did you do? >> i was about a mile and a half into my run when off my left
hand side, i heard 12, 14 gunshots. i took five or six more steps and heard more gunshots and a window break, and i recognized it was gunfire or i needed to get ni get myself to a safe place, and i ducked and called 911. the police department was on scene, and two members of congress i'm familiar with, i had a chance to talk to them and recognize again, this was a congressional baseball team that was practicing. >> let's talk about the members in a second, but you said one of the bullets hit a window. it nearly touched you? >> it came close. there are bullet holes circling around the electrical generator and it came close this morning. >> let's talk about the two members. you recognized them and worked on the hill. what was their state of mind? >> you could see the look in their eyes. they were quite shooken up.
knowing what we know now, and what took place you no, we can understand why. i asked if they needed anything, if they needed any help, and they said they were fine. they were heading back over to be with the other members of staff, that were beginning to begin their interviewing process, but, you know, it was clearly they were very shooken up at the awful events that happened. >> so you have seen what happened in our country. here is your neighborhood and alexandria. give me a sense. >> it's certainly tragic, and i think what's doubly tragic as well is at the end of the day, the congressional baseball game, is members of congress doing what voters want members of congress to do. reach across the aisle, build relationships and get to know one another to address the issues and to have something like this happen it just compounds the tragedy. >> you heard the shots and saw some of the members of congress. thank you for spending time with us. george, back to you. >> we're hearing from another
member of congress, joe barton. let's listen in. >> attacked the shooter and that saved our lives. >> in doing so, they injured themselves. >> where were the capitol police? >> they were out behind the first base dugout where congressman meehan said they kept themselves. he stayed behind the third base dugout and came around behind home plate and behind the utility shed and darted out and that's when he got shot. >> did you see the shooter or the weapon? >> i did not until after the fact. i was getting down, protecting. making sure my son was down, and i did not see him. >> we just left jeff duncan from south carolina. jeff generally plays shortstop or third base, and he was leaving with another member, ron
desantis who would have all been positioned in the infield as is customary. we have responsibilities to get back to, so sometimes people finish what they are doing and leave a little early. as jeff was walking out, he saw the shooter who spoke to him and said, you know, who are those guys? he said, that's the congressional baseball team. he said, what are they? republicans or democrats? he said, they are the republicans, and that was the conversation he had, and it was only as they were driving -- >> they said he was acting weird. >> we node to go inside. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> at least congressman barton was at the scene with his son in the dugout. that is the scene now in alexandria. we're expecting to hear from the president in just about a minute or so, but brian ross, we are picking up more and more information now about this suspected shooter. >> as we look through his social media pages, we see there was an
editorial cartoon which we liked that said, here's a republican who should lose his job, talking about steve scalise. >> he was injured in the shooting this morning. expected to survive. he is being treated right now. you see the president there in the -- the president will be coming to the diplomatic room there in the white house to address the nation. we expect right around 11:30, the president close to steve scalise. one of the members of congress he has a relationship with on capitol hill. we will be getting reports on those other injured this morning. everyone right now, expected from what we can tell, to be okay. including two capitol police, who being on the scene made the difference this morning by being able to engage the shooter. they were the difference between the situation we have now and what could have been according to senator rand paul, a massacre. cecilia vega, we're waiting for the president this morning, and he is putting out tweets. his white house has been on
alert for this all morning long. >> reporter: they have been making phone calls to congressional leadership and others involved in the shooting today. the president, you can see there, on our screen, that is a diplomatic room in the white house. the ground floor under the residence. the president, we're told, will be walking there from the oval office where he has been working this morning, and we expect him to address the nation any minute. his first time having to do so here in the white house since he has taken office. about 144 days ago. a different scene than perhaps our viewers are used to seeing. president obama would address these shootings from the briefing room. often, and president trump is taking a different tack here, and you see the photo of george washington. we expect it to be six to seven minutes, george. but the president so far, from what we have heard up until this
point has been confined to a tweet where he has expressed his saturdayness a sadness and prayers for representative scalise. >> it's starting to settle in on capitol hill. we heard that in your last interview, mary bruce, this might have been a targeted, politically motivated shooting. >> reporter: yeah. and george, a lot of just shell shocked members walking around here. many as you have seen, still in their baseball uniforms, and the overwhelming response that we're hearing from everyone is this has got to stop. they do in the want to hear this ramped up rhetoric. somehow, you know, encouraging or inciting any kind of violence. we do know that right now house members are meeting down in the capitol visitor centers, and they are being briefed on the incident and the security. they will talk about the security that members do and do not currently get.
they will then come to the house floor where i'm standing right now. there will be a prayer and a pledge and then we'll hear from paul ryan and nancy pelosi. so much of what we have been hearing today is that the parties need to come how to together, and the nation needs to come together. that's what this baseball game was all about. an opportunity for the republicans to come together. to have a friendly, fun game against the democrats on the other side. one member telling me, george, that baseball field to him, really is like a field of dreams. >> a real refuge, but so at odds with this rhetoric. mary bruce, and the things we have seen online and from members of congress every single day. the real division, real polarization. >> reporter: absolutely. this capitol building right now is deeply divided politically. while we're seeing this conversation start, it will be interesting to see whether some of that rhetoric is dialed down up here because members of
congress and across the country, that divide is felt politically. >> both the leader of senate and the democratic leader spoke on the senate floor. unifying message from them. we'll hear from paul ryan, and the democratic leader, nancy pelosi as well. pierre, the investigation does continue right now into the background of the suspect. the suspected shooter, james t. hodgkinson, and we're getting more reports on the conditions of those who were injured. we're not getting -- we're not hearing much about his condition right now, whether officials are able to talk to him. the agent in charge would in the answer those questions. >> reporter: that's right. and to be clear, the law enforcement people have not confirmed his name out in public. we're learning it from our sources. we're gathering additional information, but we're being told he is from illinois. we spoke to a person who
identified herself as his wife who said he had been living in the alexandria area for two months and not been working. i would point out that we're going to have to come to grips with something going on in this region in the last couple of years. d.c. mental health officials have been telling us that there are folks called travelers who are focused on this area. they will come to this area from time to time, focused on the president. focused on congress, and we have had a number of incidents in recent years that appear to have backed up that trend. we have a man who committed suicide on the capitol grounds just a couple of years ago. we had a man who made his way inside the capitol structure visitor area and fired off shots, or at least purported to have a weapon. this is becoming an issue, and i think there is going to have to be a lot more attention paid to it, george. >> i take the point, pierre, but
how much more security can you have around the white house and around the capitol? both the white house and the capitol, you have barriers on all the streets leading in to the buildings. pennsylvania avenue, very closed off. >> exactly, george. i think what law enforcement is coming to grips with is that you routinely have people jumping the fence. we had the man who made his way inside the white house with the knife just a couple of years ago. that this is something that you are going to have to spend a lot of time thinking about in terms of how you address members of congress when they are out in public areas. we talked about the notion that 21 members of congress would be out there playing baseball, practicing and but for the security detail with the leader of the congress, they would have been unprotected. >> okay. pierre thomas. thanks very much. brian ross. >> we continue to look at the background of mr. hodgkinson. we don't know his condition. clearly, they took him down.
the two capitol policemen took a protective stance, and they stopped his shooting. he was living apparently in alexandria for the last two months. he was expected home sometime in illinois outside st. louis, and his soeshtd is full of rants about his dislike of donald trump. he calls him a traitor and says he should be in prison. then this editorial cartoon that was anti-scalise, and he liked that one. >> no threats on social media? >> no threats. nothing more than just a political point of view. >> that's according to our sources right now, the main suspect right now, james t. hodgkinson. president trump expected to appear in the diplomatic room of the white house right there, shortly. in just a couple of minutes. he has already been on twitter and social media this morning, pressing his concern for steve scalise. the white house has canceled all
over speeches and activities by the president today, and we also know that as cecilia vega was reporting, remember, vice president pence's staff was also at the field today. he is one of the coaches of the baseball team. one of these events that is really a tradition in washington. republicans and democrats come together in front of a big crowd. one of the rare moments of rare bipartisan comedy and friendship. we are hearing from our jon karl as well that according to sources, he is hearing they expect to game to go on this year as well they will go on with their lives. members of congress as well. particularly after they have heard this news particularly about the suspect, the potential suspect in this case, saying that they want to show the democrats and republicans come together. here's president trump. >> as you all know, shortly after 7:00 a.m. this morning, a gunman opened fire on members of
congress and their staffs as they were practicing for tomorrow's annual charity baseball game. authorities are continuing to investigate the crime, and the assailant has now died from his injuries. the fbi is leading the investigation and will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available. congressman steve scalise, a member of house leadership, was shot and badly wounded, and is now in stable condition at the hospital. along with two very courageous capitol police officers. at least two others were also wounded. many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of
the two capitol police officers who took down the gunman despite sustained gunshot wounds, during a very, very brutal assault. melania and i are grateful for their heroism and praying for the swift recovery of all victims. congressman scalise is a friend, and a very good friend. he is a patriot, and he is a fighter. he will recover from this assault and steve, i want you to know that you have the prayers not only of the entire city behind you, but of an entire nation and frankly, the entire world. america is praying for you, and america is praying for all of the victims of this terrible shooting. i spoke with steve's wife,
jennifer. and i pledged to her our full and absolute support. anything she needs, we are with her and with the entire scalise family. i have also spoken with chief matthew verderoso. he is doing a fantastic job. of capitol hill police to express our sympathies of his wounded officers and my admiration for their courage. our brave police perform a challenging job with an incredible skill and their sacrifice makes democracy possible. we also commend the brave first responders from alexandria police fire and rescue. who rushed to the scene. everyone on that field is a public servant. our courageous police, our
congressional aides who work so tirelessly behind the scenes with enormous devotion and our dedicated members of congress who represent our people. we may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation's capitol is here because above all, they love our country. we can all agree that we are blessed to be americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace and that we are strongest when we are unified. and when we work together, for the common good. please take a moment today to cherish those you love and always remember those who serve and keep us safe. god bless them all.
god bless you, and god bless america. thank you. >> president trump ending there on a unifying note saying we should all remember that everyone serves and wants the best for their country. we can all agree we are blessed and want our children to grow up in safety and peace. started out, first time we have learned this, that the assailant has died. the president announced that. according to us, the suspect, james t. hodgkinson. i want to go to pierre thomas. a surprise. >> reporter: they have been keeping a tight lip about his condition. we were told that after he had sustained injuries, he was taken to gw hospital. he had been undergoing some treatment. according to the president of the united states, he is dead. >> and cecilia vega, we heard the president talk about steve scalise calling him a good friend.
>> reporter: he spoke directly to the camera and said, strieev addressed him by first name, and said the entire world is praying for him. i'm struck by the tone of bipartisanship that trump has hit. we may have our differences, but everyone on that field is in this capitol because they love our country, and george, just to go back to something you were saying, our jon karl is reporting that he is hearing that this game is going to go on. this game tomorrow that is a tradition in this city that is republicans and democrats on the same field that got tens of thousands of people to show up to watch this game at nationals park will go on, and a california representative says this game will go on. he tweeted, for charity, for victims, for heroic officers who took down that shooter, and george, what a remarkable statement of resolve hours after this incident took place.
these teams are looking to play this game ahead tomorrow. >> that's right, and a different tone from the president. that's the first time he has been called on a situation like this, and tensions have been to high as you were talking about before. so high across the capitol. you wonder if this will be a circuit breaker. >> reporter: you certainly do, george, and this is -- i have been here since the inauguration and before that, i would say probably the first time since president trump took office that this is -- this is -- there is a tone being struck not just in the white house, but outside where both sides of both parties seem to be coming together amid what are exceptionally high tensions. exceptionally high anger, mistrust. and in the middle of huge political scandals and controversies that this white house is dealing with right now, and hours after attorney general
jeff sessions was on capitol hill testifying about questions -- these lingering questions about russian interference in the election. but today, the message was crystal clear that this is not about political differences. this is about the people who serve in this city and their love for this country. all differences for right now, definitely being put aside on this one, george. >> mary bruce on capitol hill. that message being echoed by the members of congress you're talking to. >> reporter: definitely a pause in the fight woe're seeing each and every day, especially over the last few months, and it's interesting to look at steve scalise's role. he is the whip. it is his job to gather all of those members the win votes. to try to get something done up here, and we have seen many of the challenges that he and republicans have been facing as they try to get the president's agenda enacted here on capitol
hill. steve scalise, such a central part of all of that here in thesele thats and we should say that we start to see members trickling onto the floor. they are meeting in the basement and talking about this morning's incident. they will been coming onto the floor and house speaker paul ryan will deliver remarks and also the democratic leader, nancy pelosi. >> the members of congress we were talking to, mary, they had been briefed in the past. especially since the shooting of gabby giffords, to take precautions inside their districts. now it's something they have to think about in washington, d.c. >> reporter: and security is always a constant presence here in the capitol, but question now is what changes need to be made when they are outside of these halls? we see security being ratcheted up and increased over the last few years. leadership like scalise usually has about three or four capitol
police with him taat all times, even just walking through the halls here. they were noout in the communit this morning. on the baseball field, enjoying what is normally such a fun and great funt for all of to them to spend time together outside of the capitol outside of those partisan fights we have been discussing and what changes may be seen going forward is a huge conversation here this morning. but everyone we have talked to says that while that's an important conversation to have, they feel so deeply it is so important to have access to the communities they live in. whether it's washington, d.c. or at home in their districts. >> pierre was talking about how police have become more attuned to washington, d.c. people travel to the capital itself with some agenda. those several alerts, locked down. we have gotten used to that
happening on capitol hill. >> reporter: it has become routine, where a suspicious package is seen, and the capitol lock down. we have seen threats. and there are huge barricades set up for any car to come near this building. everyone comes through the magnetometers before they come inside. but what has ppens before then? >> you have new information, pierre? >> reporter: we are seeing nothing so suggest serious crimes. he had a number of traffic violations. in st. clair county, illinois, spanning from 2011. vast majority of these, traffic, and no felony or convictions that we can see in the county. someone who perhaps had serious issues in regard to republicans and his positions on them, but
had done nothing to indicate this was coming. >> we have seen again and again strong positions. he protested in front of the federal building, to tax the rich. this is sort of in the category of free speech. we have no indication, and now that he is dead, we won't be able to ask him. what led him, and snapped in him to go down the road of violence? >> a lot of questions unanswered, but as president trump says the assailant has died, we want to go back and we have been talk to kweyewitnesss from the scene. here's what they have to say. >> we need need medics. we got a suspect. >> we have another one down. >> we need crime crime scene tape. >> we got some witnesses that are trying to leave. i'm trying to keep them on the scene. >> i need medics in the dugout and i have got one injured. >> i just fielded some balls in
center field and came in and was standing near joe barton, watching some of the batting practice and all of a sudden, we heard a shot. a very loud shot that everybody thought it sounded like a gun, and then boom. rapid succession after that. he had a rifle of some time, and it was a -- obviously, a large gauge rifle, and there were people in the field. one staffer was shot out in the field, and he ran with a wound to the dugout. a lot of us dove into the dugout, and tried to get as many as we could, but then at that point, there was firing behind us from the security detail, the capitol police. and i started yelling back, are you friendly? making sure that was our guy because we didn't know if there were other shooters that had us surrounded and would come into the dugout. we didn't know whether to run or not. we had a friendly behind us, and
then we stayed, tried to keep down. i poked my head up at one point, and saw the shooter behind the fence, but he had a line of shot. >> firing through the fence? >> he was firing around, but he still could have fired into the dugout. that's why we kept everybody down. joe barton's boy, 10 years old was shagging balls. we stuffed him under the bench. >> nine minutes after 7:00, we received a 911 call of an active shooter at simpson park here on monroe in alexandria. our units responded and were on the scene in three minutes. >> he had a rifle initially. i think he had handguns as well. he had a lot of ammo. i can tell you that. >> i saw a white male with a rifle, and what went through my mind, i was surprised. why would anyone bring a rifle
to a ballpark? but he was behind the third base gate, behind the fence. and then when he started firing, all i heard was, go into the dugout, and i dove into the dugout on top of a congressman, and when the -- because i'm not a gunman, i figured that he was finished, and apparently, was equipped and he was reloading and then started shooting again. >> five or ten minutes before the shots started, as we went to our car, there was an individual, middle-aged, kau ki occasion who asked, is that republicans, democrats? we said, that's republicans and he turned towards the field. >> that shooter unleashed on a congressional baseball practice there in alexandria, virginia.
david kerley on the scene there, and you have been talking to witnesses all morning long. >> reporter: and they are really surprised at how quickly alexandria police responded. but you heard it from the two senators you talked to today. senator flake and senator paul. there wouldn't have been security there. the capitol police wouldn't have be there if not for steve scalise, and he is a powerful member of the house and he has a detail. they engaged this shooter before the police actually arrived. they said that made a big difference, andgeorge, i have been talking to witnesses as we watch -- the police continue to work the scene here, and you have spoken about this this morning with several other people. mary has talked about it, and cecilia as well. the witnesses are saying the same thing as well. is this a symptom of the division of our country? was this a politically motivated sho shooting? which some of the reporting seems to suggest, and sadden --
many of them it has come to their neighborhood and they saw what they saw and heard what they heard this morning. i should add, george. we have a clear predict. there were six people, including the shooter, injured. five innocents basically, and two of them we know are in critical condition at this hour. >> that's exactly what we know. the sentiment is coming up now again and again and again, you know, about what can we do to bring the country together in the wake of something like this? you wonder if there is anything out there that's concrete. >> reporter: absolutely. i mean that is the problem. we have been talking about this in this country for much longer than the last election and before, is the division between and how we are getting farther and farther apart. redder and bluer, and that is the question that i guess americans will have to ponder and come to an answer individually, george. >> that's right. they will try to come to an
answer np congress. mary bruce is there, and we are about to hear from paul ryan, the house speaker, but members have been getting a briefing for about the last half hour or so on their own security concerns. >> reporter: they have, george, and, you know, normally those divisions that you have been talking about between red and blue are on full display in these halls and we are seeing the exact opposite. we're getting some color from inside the room where all house members are meeting downstairs where they are being briefed on security and this morning's shooting and they started off that briefing with democrats and republicans praying together. holding hands, recognizing what has just happened to their fellow colleagues. they received a standing ovation for their bravery this morning on that baseball diamond, and democrats and republicans, the leadership of the two parties were sitting together, and now we expect after that meeting which we believe is wrapping up, we come to the house floor, and we will hear publicly from the house speaker and leader pelosi.
>> we know that the baseball game is going to go forward. any sense of when congress will get back to regular business? >> reporter: certainly not today. after -- after they deliver their marks on the floor, all house business will be suspended for the rest of the day. on the senate side, there are hearings ongoing, but it is a much calmer and quieter feel egg here on capitol hill. i should mention that the building is still open, and you are seeing behind me, tourists mulling about. some groups that are still up here, and it's a bit of a surreal scene in many ways, but given the severity of the situation, and we are beginning to see the lawmakers and their staff making their way to the floor, george. >> one word for the scene on the practice field when the gunman opened fire. one of the congressmen was chuck fleischmann, and let's hear what he had to say.
>> i'm so sorry that you were there. oh, my god. >> it's a sad day. my personal thoughts and prayers go out to all those who were severely injured. there were several. thank god for the capitol police. they were there to guard steve scalise, but for that fact, there would have been much, much more damage. i don't know why. i'm very thankful that i was not shot. i was on that side of the field. i was walking down the third base side, visiting with my friend, trent kelly, talking about how practice had gone that day. and as i went around, i heard a large, single opop. one shot. i didn't know it was a gun, so we were standing around. in a moment, there was a barrage of shots being fired.
larry hardy is one of to our coaches. we have a lot of volunteer coaches, and we hit the ground immediately. and then -- and then we realized if we were out there, we didn't exactly know where it was coming from, but it was loud. it was constant. so i actually ran and jumped in the dugout, and that's when i -- i'm sorry. that's when i got in the dugout. we realized the shooter waswent dugout. the capitol police were able to return fire and stop the shooter from moving forward. we were like sitting ducks in the dugout. >> were you able to get a look at the shooter? >> i was not. i heard it and did not see him. other members actually did see him moving around and took cover.
>> were there shots fired? >> several. multiple shots and seemed like it went on for quite some time. when i got back into the dugout with the members there i realized one gentleman had been shot in the leg and you could see the bullet hole in his leg. other members were like me, bloodied up just trying to get there because they just jumped into the dugout. it seemed it went on for a long period of time. fortunately there was return fire from the capitol police to deep the shooter at bay. calls went out for help. virginia police came as backup and it's my understanding they subdued the shooter. [ inaudible ] >> i don't know. i don't know. >> capitol police present, were those just scalise's personal detail? >> yes. that is very normal. our speaker, the majority leader and the whip get 24-hour capitol police coverage as do i believe the majority leader and their
side. that is something that's been in place for quite some time. this is my seventh year playing on the congressional baseball team and they are there every day with whip scalise. today it was so important that they were there and two were injured. my thoughts and prayers and thanks. my sincere thanks go out to them. a lot more members would have been more seriously hurt if they had not been there to return fire. >> do you think security needs to change for members? >> thank you. god bless you. >> for rank and file members given what happened? [ inaudible ] >> well, this is what i said earlier and i'm still in shock about this because i've never actually been fired upon. i've served with some men and women who have been in combat before and i talked with them after the event and said what was that like? let me say this. >> could you speak to the
cameras as well please? >> sure. i'm sorry. >> thank you, sir. >> baseball is a part of -- >> it is coming up on noon. some of our stations will break away for local news. our coverage will continue. we are talking about the shooting that unfolded at 7:00 a.m. in alexandria virginia this morning on the field where the republican baseball team was practicing for the annual bipartisan baseball game. annual congressional game. shooter unleashed up to 50 shots shooting congressman steve scalise. the president announced shortly ago the shooter has died. steve scalise was shot in the hip. he has undergone surgery this morning and expected to recover. along with two capitol hill police officers who brought down the shooter and three others injured as well. we don't have a full report on their condition right now. of course, this has sent